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National Conference among AAP meetings going virtual :

June 15, 2020

The AAP is hosting its first virtual National Conference & Exhibition in early October. While the AAP was forced to cancel its live event that was scheduled to be held Oct. 2-6 in San Diego due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AAP remains committed to addressing pediatricians’ educational and networking needs.

It also means that virtually the largest National Conference could happen this year. The digital conference format opens the door for more pediatricians to participate. Registration information will be available in early August at

In August, the AAP is offering several virtual live courses to meet learning needs during the pandemic.

What do these changes mean for pediatrician learners in 2020? Hilary Haftel, M.D., M.H.P.E., FAAP, AAP senior vice president of Education, answers your most pressing questions.

Q: My practice is playing catch-up due to the COVID-19 pandemic. How can I keep up with continuing medical education (CME) without being overwhelmed?

A: We understand pediatricians have faced a challenging time and are scrambling to reconnect with patients who might have delayed or canceled visits due to COVID-19. Limited time, significant financial impacts and travel restrictions also may impede access to live activities. The AAP virtual options are intended to provide flexible, user-friendly formats at a lower registration fee. In addition, AAP members can take all current PediaLink education courses for no charge.

Don’t forget the AAP’s other professional education options like enduring CME materials and online courses at

Q: I planned to attend a live AAP CME course this year. Now what?

A: Courses, such as a Practical Pediatrics CME course and specialty courses — including the popular PREP the Cram course — are offered as virtual education program options, without the need to travel (see sidebar).

Q: Will I get the same quality experience if I attend a virtual AAP education activity?

A: Yes! The same quality educational content is presented in an online setting. Virtual events, including the National Conference, offer top-quality education and social connection. Just like at live activities, attendees choose sessions to fit their interests, meet top experts and earn CME credit with or without Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit. This also means virtual educational meetings are particularly appealing to trainees, young practitioners and anyone short on time.

Q: The learning material is presented virtually but live, and the content can be accessed after the event, too. What is this type of activity called?

A: We call these blended activities because they are a blend of live and virtual formats. Blended learning has been a goal at the AAP even before the pandemic. Another bonus is that live AAP courses will be accessible as enduring education activities afterward. You can attend the virtual event in real time, access it later or both. This is really the future of where continuing education is going.

Q: Will I earn the same credit if I attend a virtual event?

A.Everything attendees love about live events is translatable to virtual meetings. This includes the option to earn the same amount of — or maybe more — continuing medical education credit as an in-person event. Courses and completion certificates will be available in PediaLink. There, attendees also can find supplementary materials and complete assessments to earn CME and MOC credit.

Q: Will the AAP present hands-on CME courses virtually?

A: To meet the skills component of learning, some courses have simulation-based experiences. For example, attendees might practice adolescent health visit interviewing using standardized patients. Other hands-on activities will be depicted using video demonstrations.

Q: One component of onsite meetings is face-to-face networking. Where can AAP members find virtual networking?

A:Seeing peers is an important part of the CME experience. The AAP has developed modalities to make this possible in a virtual setting. Breaks are interspersed throughout the virtual meetings to allow for connection and conversation. Much like the discussion board on that allows members to discuss their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, attendees will have a setting where they can ask the faculty questions, chat and connect with others.

Q: I was hoping to attend a live AAP meeting at a vacation destination in the future. Will the AAP still host live meetings?

A: Yes! The AAP will resume in-person educational events alongside virtual events when the impact of the pandemic has lessened. The intent has always been to offer live and virtual continuing education. The Academy’s first priority is the health, safety and well-being of our members, attendees and staff.

Upcoming virtual learning opportunities

View all planned live and virtual educational offerings at

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